|Title:||What is the Wagner Group? A look at the mercenary group led by man accused of 'armed mutiny' in Russia|
|Date published:||June 24, 2023|
|Date updated:||June 24, 2023|
An introduction to the Wagner Group, with many links to high-quality sources.
What is the Wagner Group?
Called by Russia a “private military company” the Wagner Group is called a proxy force by U.S. officials and others, while others label it a mercenary group. […]
Russia has denied the involvement of the Wagner Group in its official military operations, but the Washington think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies says it is often directly connected to the Russian state. It played a role in Russia’s operations in Ukraine in 2014 and 2015, it said.
“Instead of using the Russian narrative, according to which Wagner is a private military company, Wagner should be viewed as a classic proxy organization,” it said. […]
Wagner Group was also sent to Central African Republic in its civil war, where the group was accused of executing civilians, attacking U.N. peacekeepers and targeting predominantly Muslim communities.
Senior Western diplomats have said that the Wagner Group took control of a gold mine there. Human Rights Watch said in a report that suspected Wagner Group forces have committed atrocities, including executing unarmed men.
The U.S. in January designated the Wagner Group a transnational criminal organization. In Africa, it destabilized countries committed “widespread human rights abuses and extorting natural resources from their people,” the U.S. Treasury Department said then in imposing sanctions.
The war in Ukraine has helped the Wagner Group grow in influence, Kirby, the U.S. National Security Council spokesman, has said.
“His influence is expanding. Wagner’s independence from the Russian Defense Ministry has, is only increased and elevated over the course of the 10 months of this war,” Kirby said at the December briefing.
The Russian military has been relying on Wagner fighters in Ukraine, and in some cases, Russia’s military officials have been subordinate to the commands of the Wagner Group, he said.